Assessment of lockdown in Niger state

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That Coronavrus, a pandemic disease which struck in Wuhan in China at the tail of 2019 and shaking the health and other systems globally with frightening number of cases and deaths has found its way to Nigeris is no more news.

What is of essence now is a critical assessment of the various measures put in place by the Federal and state governments to either prevent or check the spread of the deadful disease.

Monday marks the first day of total lock down declared by the Governor of Niger state, Alhaji Abubarkar Sani Bello, to stem the spread of the disease but governor said the total lockdown in the state had recorded about 90 per cent success.

Bello anchored his accessment of the measure to the partial lockdown which ended last Sunday.

Duaglobalnews recalls that In a state broadcast on Saturday, Bello announced total lockdown, including closure of all land and sea boarders, inter and intra-transportation and movement.

This is a follow up to the discovery of Corona Virus (COVID 19) index case in Limawa area of Minna, the state capital.

Investigation by the online medium showed that thehe partial lockdown recorded poor turnout largely due to disagreement between the executive and the legislature.

Members of the state House of Assembly had insisted that the timing of the partial lockdown was wrong, considering the prevalent situation and its implication on the masses in the state and urged the executive to take a second look at it.

However, the success of the total lockdown, do far, more has a strong link to the effort of the security agencies whowere on ground to enforce strict compliant.

Our correspondent, who went round the town to assess the situation noticed that all the motor parks were empty, street markets without its usual hustling and bustling while the major roads were virtually devoid of the usual clusters of persons moving around.

Also, adjoining streets through Paiko road-Tunga, Abdulsalam garage and Chanchaga/ College of Education area leading to the outskirts of Minna metropolis were all free from human, vehicular, Tricycles/Motorcycle movement as people confined themselves to their homes.

Except for the occasional siren from operational vehicles of security operatives on patrol, Minna metropolis and its environs witnessed unusual silence.

The children were not left out as they also deserted the streets and confined themselves to their various compounds.

The situation along the western and eastern by-pass were however different where disobedience to the total lockdown was noticed.

In response, the taskforce on routine patrol needed to chase some people clustering around a big Mango shed after defying orders to remain indoors.

Meanwhile, a livestock farmer, Col. Akinola Olusola (rtd), has suggested that farmers, especially the ones producing perishable goods like eggs and varieties of vegetables with genuine identy, be exempted from the restriction.

This he said became imperative to enable them take their produce to customers’ door steps.

Akinola, in an interview on the prevalent situation, argued that removing farmers from restriction list had become necessary because, “Live stock farmers for, instance, are very essential and products like eggs, if we don’t supply them, will spoil.”

He frawned at the development whereby some farmers had travelled to Lagos all the way from Kano with truck loads of vegetables, including tomatoes and pepper but were not allowed entry.

Akinola said it made no sense that government would watch her citizens die of hunger by blocking farmers from taking their produce to the markets and other end users.

The ex-soldier turned farmer said, “If you block farmers like us from taking our goods to customers, what are we going to do with them.

“We farm but we cannot consume all the eggs and birds and other end products, that is why I am suggesting that government allow farmers free access to the markets and customers,”he

For now, while it might sound a bit early to get the real success of the measure, which is still at the initial stage of compliance, the success so far could be an indication that measures put in place of stop the spread of the Coronavrus, ravaging most nations of the world today will be a success story after all.

However, both the government and the governed have a cardinal role to place in achieving this crucial measure to save mankind from COVID-19, the most dreaded disease of our time.

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